Setbacks can be frustrating, sometimes painful, but one extraordinary family – who have had more than their fair share to deal with – are refusing to let a devastating health blow stop them from finding the joy in life.
Firrhill High pupil Kira Noble, 15, nicknamed ‘Kira the Machine’, who has courageously faced the rare and aggressive cancer Neuroblastoma since she was 11, is now toe-to-toe with a new reality.
Results from a specialist Neuroblastoma test have now revealed that Kira’s cancer continued to grow in her pancreatic area and new spots of disease have emerged in her abdominal area following treatment last year in the Procure Proton Beam Therapy Centre, New Jersey. That means Kira’s disease is now classified as “refractory” – her third relapse.
Kira’s reaction to the news?
She told her oncologist and other medical staff as the latest scans were discussed, “Right, that’s me off home to play the cancer card to my dad and see if I can wangle the box set of Glee to cheer me up”.
It is characteristic of Kira. Despite the brutal nature of the cards she’s been dealt her personality, her infectious wit and dry humour is what comes most natural to her – not the “cancer card”.
The Noble family then went to the cinema and watched Bohemian Rhapsody. “We are no strangers to bad news with this despicable disease,” said Kira’s mum Aud. “And we often counteract it through doing upbeat, feel good things with friends when we can.”
Friends, family and the general public helped fundraise a mammoth £340,000 in just four weeks last May to help pay for intensive surgery to remove a tumour. The total fundraising then went on to smash half a million pounds, thanks to the generosity of Kira’s supporters.
The seven-hour operation, by a world-renowned surgeon at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, was dubbed a success at the time. Aud said: “Kira’s tumour had to come out for two reasons – it was such an important pre-requisite for the rest of the treatment plan to follow and it would have been life threatening to leave it in there as it was wrapped around Kira’s major blood vessels.”
And forever in awe of her daughter’s strength, Aud said the family were now considering the next steps of her treatment and urged Kira’s army of supporters to stick by them.
“We are still awaiting the results of bone marrow and trephine tests,” she said. “And are currently in discussions regarding the next steps of Kira’s treatment plan and we hope this will be in the UK and funded by the NHS.
“The roads travelled on these journeys are often challenging and complicated – and all too often lives are cut short because of this noxious, relentless and brutal disease.
“Can we humbly encourage our family, friends and supporters to continue to raise necessary life saving funds for ‘Kira’s Journey’ in any way they can.
“If you are considering running a marathon or holding a bake sale please would you consider doing it for Kira’s future treatment fund, should she need it. We need to secure funds in case Kira’s disease is resistant to the next block of treatment and in case we need to travel overseas again to access a clinical trial.
“We may also look into a preventative treatment in the future that would give Kira the best chance of stopping her disease from returning. Our amazing charity, Solving Kids Cancer, manage all funds raised for Kira and have been a massive support to us in helping us access overseas treatments so far.”
She added: “Although this news is devastating, we thank you all for your continued support.
“Figuratively speaking, Kira is undoubtedly swimming against the tide – but I think it’s so important to point out that she is indeed still swimming and we believe she will reach the shore – especially with her huge army supporting her.”
To support Kira, visit https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/solvingkidscancer/kiranoble
Or if you would prefer to anonymously, donate by text type, “KIRA89 £5” to 70070.